Saturday, August 26, 2023

Sunday Synopsis-America's First Female Serial Killer


America's First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a MonsterAmerica's First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster by Mary Kay McBrayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always thought Aileen Wuornos was the first female serial killer, but I found out that Honora Kelley, who later was named Jane Toppan, was the first one, and she was brutal.

Honora Kellye was an Irish-American born in Boston in 1857. When Honora was only age 1, her mother died of tuberculosis. The dad attempted to take care of Honora and her older sister Delia, but there were mentions of abuse. When the two girls were 8 and 6, their father dropped them off at the orphanage at the Boston Female Asylum. She was prone to telling stories to keep the other girls entertained and to gain their friendship, but she was also a hard worker. When a girl turned ten, they place them in respectable families.

When Honora was placed, she was sent to the family to work. She wasn't part of this family. She should have been, but she was often mistreated. They even renamed her Jane Toppan so she wouldn't sound Irish as Irish immigrants were treated with discrimination during this time. Jane did well in school and had many friends, but as she grew up, she gained a lot of weight, had few friends, and was rejected by a man she wanted to be with.

All these years she continued telling untrue stories (read-lies), gossiping, and drinking heavily. However, she entered nursing school at age 33, first at Cambridge Hospital then at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was fired from both positions, yet when she hired her services out to wealthy families, she came highly recommended.

Most of the doctors loved her because she was friendly, outgoing, and did her job well. She was nicknamed Jolly Jane. Her classmates in nursing school began to resent her, though.

I won't tell the whole story here, but it is well written and worth a read. It reads like a regular novel rather than a true crime story. In all, Jane Toppan killed at least 31 people, probably more. She was caught when suspicions arose after an entire family was killed, and she was finally arrested in October of 1901.

She got a thrill from killing making her a complete monster, but her story is quite interesting and McBrayer is more than competent in her telling of this story.  She explores events from her childhood, her time as an indentured servant, her nursing education, her methods, and her motives, and she does so in a way that is easy to read and understand. (read-not boring)

View all my reviews

Friday, August 18, 2023

Crafty Creators

 I have already started my handmade Christmas cards for this year.  If I don't start now, I won't finish.  If I try to do them too quickly, I'll get burned out and buy store bought cards.  But people expect handmade cards from me, so I do them a few at a time.  Lately I've been fascinated with watercolor, so I watched a tutorial by "Cool Cakes and Crafts with Amalia" and copied her design the best I could, with her permission of course.  Here is my version:

The sleigh, horse, sentiment, and snowflake are  die cuts I made with my Cricut, but the sky, shadow, and snow are watercolored. What do you think?

Link up with Crafty Creators for more crafty goodness and inspiration.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Happy Tuesday and Random Thoughts


I hope no one gets offended by this, but why do old women have the worst taste in perfume?  I'm not young (57), but most of the time I don't wear perfume, but when I do, it's something light and fresh.  The other day I was at the post office, and this really sweet older lady walked by (she had probably just come from the salon where she got her hair "set," if you know what I mean.) She was at least 80 if she was a day.

Anyway, we spoke a simple hello, and as she passed me and for a few minutes after, there was a cloud of perfume wafting in the air.  Not something light and sweet, but over powering and somewhat sour.  And why is it necessary to wear THAT MUCH of it?  This is just one of life's many experiences that have no reason.

And now, for your featured funnies:

Another of life's mysteries!

It's been 103 for several days in a row now.


I wish it worked that way!

And last, but not least...
Have a good week, and don't forget to visit Stacy Uncorked and Comedy Plus for more laughs!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Thursday Thirteen - brought to you by vowels

 Do you remember what the vowels are?  A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.  

The following is a list of words I like that begin with a vowel.

1.  innocuous - harmless, safe.

2.  ubiquitous - common, everywhere, ever-present

3.  agonizing - difficult and painful suffering (physical or emotional pain)

4.  ingenious - clever, intelligent, brilliant

5.  elegant - beautiful, classic, sophisticated 

6.  innovative - creative, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art

7.  integrity - honest, upright, ethical

8.  authentic - real, genuine

9.  ostentatious - flamboyant, showy, flashy

10. unabashed - shameless, not embarassed

11. eccentric - bizarre, unusual

12. atypical - nonconforming, peculiar, not the norm

13. idiosyncratic - distinctive, quirky, unique

Don't forget to visit Thursday Thirteen!

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Fun Photos

 These photos are from the George H. W. Bush (Bush41) President Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, that I took back in 2019.

For more fun photos visit Image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Randomly Happy Tuesday

 Hey everyone!  Quick question:  Do you shred your mail or important documents when you no longer need them?  If not, do you keep them or throw them away?  But most importantly, do you even get documents and bills via regular mail?  I think I have finally converted all of my correspondence to digital, and I love that.

On the other hand, I also keep track of my mom's finances, and she gets several physical pieces of mail each week from her private insurance as well as medicare.  I'm not sure if I can change this, but it would be worthwhile to do so.

Now moving right along...

Our granddaughter was playing with her "Pop goes the Llama" this weekend, and it made her baby siter cry! 😢

They kinda still are


And last, but not least...

Have a great week!


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